A 6-year-old Atlantan showed that you’re never too young to learn how to farm. Kendall Rae Johnson is the youngest certified farmer in the state of Georgia. She owns aGROWKulture Urban Farm in southwest Atlanta, where she sells food baskets, memberships, donated food boxes, grow boxes, and even hosts classes. The Town of South Fulton proclaimed that September 28, 2021, would be known as Kendall Rae Johnson Appreciation Day. She joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom with her dad, Quinton Johnson, to talk about Kendall Rae’s favorite subject: growing green things.
Kendall Rae told the story of her first introduction to growing edible plants. She was 3 years old when her great-grandmother taught her how to replant stems and clippings to grow new plants, triggering the girl’s fascination. “My great-grandmother will say, ‘Don’t throw away your rods because they might actually help you,” Kendall Rae said.
“What I love most about farming is playing in the soil… My winter crop is collard greens, beets, radishes, broccoli, cabbage,” said the early farmer. “You want to know my spring crops?
Kendall Rae’s favorite season is summer. “I like the warm weather,” she says, before listing her summer crops, including peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. She also plants flowers – even roses, which are notoriously difficult to grow.
Her proud father stepped in to share the philosophy behind the farm’s name. “It’s definitely a play on the word ‘agriculture’, but it represents a culture of progression — just moving forward in everything we do. So we try to promote positivity, especially in kids, but in everyone, and just try to be a shining light to everyone,” Quinton said. “If we share positivity with each other, we can all grow together, and there’s enough for everyone.”
The philosophy also informs the agricultural youth development program launched by Kendall Rae and the Johnson family, known as Kendall Rae’s Green Heart 4H at aGROWKulture Urban Farm. “She has her own goals within the company,” Quinton said. “Her goal is to meet new friends, do new things and inspire other kids, and that’s what she wants to do. She wants to inspire other kids, talk to lots of people, and create with lots of other people. So that’s what the program pushes.
To learn more about aGROWKulture Urban Farm’s ongoing projects and subscription options and ways to get involved, visit www.agrokculture.com.